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  • Getting it right: 5 things to tick off your social media checklist for 2013

    As 2012 fades into our rearview mirrors, it is time to reflect on the past year to identify what we did right (and wrong) and changes we need to make in 2013 to derive more value out of our social media efforts. I have listed a number of behaviours below which I have noted on a number of platforms which people should either do more of or stop immediately. By doing so, it will make these environments better for all. Broadcast vs conversation Twitter was developed specifically to support online social interaction. This implies bi-directional dialogue between many or multiple entities....

  • Can BuzzFeed usher in a new golden age of journalism and advertising?

    It was just over a year ago that BuzzFeed hired editor-in-chief Ben Smith away from Politico to help build the cat-happy publication into a major media company. In the intervening months, it hasacquired a Facebook advertising company, hired a longform editor, set up a video division led by Ze Frank in a new Los Angeles office, and launched an entertainment section. Last week it closed a Series D round of US$19-million, even though the US$15-million it raised in a Series C round sits in the bank, virtually untouched. The new round brought the total funding raised to US$43.6-million and reportedly valued BuzzFeed at US$200-million. More...

  • Event tech startup Virtuvent to ‘set industry standard’ and ‘spark copy-cats’

    If you've ever watched a stable, HD webcast of a product announcement, easily registered for an event or enjoyed a high-speed internet connection while venturing around a trade show floor, you'll appreciate the companies that work behind the scenes to make it all work efficiently. Virtuvent, an events tech company with a strong South African connection, has a strong integrated approach and some notable events under its belt. Officially launched in October last year, Virtuvent is a B2B startup that targets large or enterprise events, with cloud-based software to manage the logistics, communications and video of the events. Read...

  • The giants are here: 4K Ultra HD TVs dominate at CES

    There was one thing predominantly clear at CES 2013. Actually it's two things: 3D TV is dead/dying, and enormous living-room-dominating Ultra HD and OLED TVs are the next big thing. Ultra HD, also termed 4K, has been on everybody's lips with the three main competitors Samsung, Sony and LG displaying TV sets that almost defy logic, and making the oft-used phrase "world's first" into a cliché. And believe it or not, an 8K TV snuck in there too... Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • The opposite test: how to tell if your business is worth talking about

    The way most businesses talk about their advantages is so boring. How many companies are "the best", "faster", "biggest", "most trusted", and so on? These vague adjectives that we use to describe our businesses are meaningless and boring to customers, and they give no good reason to actually prefer your brand over another. If you'd like to craft a better differentiator, one that may even affect what you do and how you do it, then ask yourself: Are any of your competitors doing the opposite of what you claim to be doing? Read more on Ventureburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • SAP gets into the realtime business apps game

    SAP, the world's largest business software company, launched a suite of enterprise business applications running on its real-time platform HANA, that it says provides massive increases in performance and advanced analytics capabilities. The company provides most of the world's largest business groups with enterprise IT applications used to run their core business operations. SAP co-founder and chairman Hasso Plattner announced the business software suite at SAP's Silicon Valley Research campus, as part of a global launch in New York, and Frankfurt, Germany. He said that the increase in business app performance is so great that SAP had been accused of "hype" by...

  • Why Chinese companies censor users overseas even though they don’t have to

    A few days ago, I wrote about a rant posted to Sina Weibo and spotted by Global Voices Online in which an alleged member of Sina’s censorship team explains the company’s censorship in part by saying that Sina doesn’t want to censor weibo posts, but it is required to do so in order to follow Chinese law. That’s a refrain we hear from Chinese internet companies over and over again when it comes to censorship: ‘we don’t want to be doing this, but these are the rules of the game in China, and we have to play along.’ That is...

  • BlackBerry services down for Vodafone users in Europe, Middle East, Africa

    Yes, BlackBerry is having connection issues again -- but it's not the type of widespread outage we saw back in 2011 when BIS was down for days on end. In what seems to be a carrier problem, BlackBerry users on Vodafone networks are experiencing down time in large parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. RIM alerted its users and customers in the UK via twitter account, posting the following: "Vodafone service issues are impacting some BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We are supporting their efforts to resolve." The fault is considered to be a router...

  • Apple will not be making cheap smartphones says Schiller

    So the rumours aren't true. In an interview with a Chinese newspaper, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said that cheaper smartphones are not in the company's future. In the interview, the SVP remarked that with "every product that Apple creates, we consider using only the best technology available. This includes the production pipeline, the Retina display, the unibody design, to provide the best product to the market." The rumours hit tech sites earlier this week with reports in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. According to the Bloomberg report: "Apple plans to sell a smaller, cheaper...

  • The Nintendo Wii U trumps the Wii in sales revenue

    Nintendo's Wii U console has surpassed its older brethren in sales. In just under two months since its release, the Wii U has raked in about US$300-million in sales, compared to the US$270-million the Wii garnered on its release. In December the Kyoto based consumer electronics company sold more than 2.65-million hardware units in total. The Nintendo DS (53-million units sold to date) still manages to sell well after all these years, with almost half a million sales over the Christmas season, while the 3DS managed to muster 1.25-million units for a total of 7.7-million units world-wide. The original Wii...

  • Travel the world for free from your armchair with Wikivoyage

    Wikivoyage, launched by the Wikimedia Foundation, is a new site that will provide travellers with information on destinations, restaurants, hotels and whatever users choose to create and update. In the same way that Wikipedia operates the content will be sourced from volunteer authors and travellers. As described on Wikipedia, the site is "built through collaboration of Wikivoyagers from around the globe. Articles can cover different levels of geographic specificity, from continents to districts of a city. These are logically connected in a hierarchy, by specifying that the location covered in one article "is within" the larger location described by another....

  • Send a message to Mark Zuckerberg…for $100

    This is interesting. Mashable is reporting that Facebook is now charging users US$100 to send a message to Mark Zuckerberg. In its tests, it found that the option only applies to people who don't follow Mark Zuckerberg. We tried the same thing in our offices and would suggest that it also doesn't apply to users outside the US. As Mashable notes, this is obviously a variant of the US$1 pay-to-message option that Facebook has been testing out for some time now. The new service allows people who are not even in your extended networks to pay a nominal fee...

  • Steve Jobs was not into streaming music says Beats Audio founder

    Beats Audio CEO Jimmy Iovine apparently tried for years to entice Steve Jobs into the concept of music subscription and music streaming. Jobs on the other hand never seemed very interested, according to an All Things D report. In an interview yesterday with All Things D, Iovine said: "I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn’t keen on it right away. Luke Wood and I spent about three years trying to talk him into it... he didn’t want to pay the record companies enough. He felt that they would come down, eventually." Iovine...

  • Nokia reports ‘solid’ Q4, sold 4.4m Lumias

    Looks like things are finally on the up for Nokia. Well, better than expected at any rate. The embattled Finnish mobile giant today reported a solid Q4, with its Lumia and Asha range of smartphones leading the way. The company says that Devices & Services division "exceeded expectations and achieved underlying profitability". The company says it sold some 4.4-million Lumias in the quarter, contributing a large portion of the EUR 1.2-billion the company earned from smart devices during the quarter. Its decision to target emerging markets with its Asha series of low-end smartphones meanwhile is clearly working out. The...

  • Amazon is giving away free digital music — if you’ve bought the physical CD

    Have you been putting off converting your old CDs into MP3 format? Well, Amazon just made the process less of an effort: now, it will automatically 'rip' your discs and add the songs to your cloud library -- if you purchased your old music on its website, of course. Amazon says Auto-rip will work for CDs bought as far back as 1998, and allow its customers to stream or download the digital versions of the songs after they've been store in their Cloud Player library. It's essentially a matching service -- if you've got a CD that is on the...